Last Wednesday 10 Ai-ers took the morning to volunteer with Citymeals-On-Wheels delivering hot and cold meals to New York City’s homebound elderly. This was the second Meals-On-Wheels event for Ai, although it was my first experience. The first Ai event was on the Upper East Side, and this event brought us to the west side in Hell’s Kitchen.
For many of the seniors, the Meals-On-Wheels volunteer is the only person they may interact with in an average day. All those that receive meals are 60 years or older, physically and/or mentally incapacitated and in need of some assistance. These seniors are unable to prepare nutritious meals for themselves and generally have no family or friends nearby to help. Ai stepped in to lend a hand.
The 10 of us, split among 4 separate routes, trekked along a 15 block radius delivering meals. While some folks simply asked for the meals (one woman asking us to slip it through the window of her ground floor apartment), others enjoyed spending a few minutes chatting. Regardless of how much interaction occurred, the recipients were always happy to see us and appreciative of the help. In fact, one recipient asked my group to help take out his trash – we were happy to oblige knowing this household task would be very difficult for him.
Last year, City-Meals-On-Wheels delivered over 2 million healthy meals and companionship to 16,232 seniors throughout NYC. Ai is proud to be part of this year’s numbers. It was a rewarding experience and we will be back. Downtown- here we come.